Supermarkets and ACCC front up to the Cost of Living Committee
1 March 2023
Senator Jane Hume, Chair of the Senate Cost of Living Committee, will today lead hearings on the cost of living in Box Hill, in Melbourne’s eastern mortgage belt.
The Committee hearings will be held at Box Hill Town Hall with local business representatives the Asian Business Association of Whitehorse and community groups including Meals on Wheels Victoria appearing to provide evidence.
The Committee will also hear from the ACCC on competition in the financial sector, and how competition in the mortgage lending and insurance markets can be improved.
Major supermarkets Aldi and Coles will be appearing alongside Metcash, a major supplier of independent supermarkets. Senator Hume will question the supermarkets about how price increases are impacting their supply chains, and how consumer preferences are changing as pressure on family budgets increase.
Senator Hume said the Committee was getting out of the central business districts to hear how the cost of living was biting, with different demographics, in different geographical locations.
“Cost of living is the number one issue facing Australians right now. I want this committee to go right around Australia, to hear from ordinary Australians about how they’re doing, where they’re finding it tough and find practical solutions to Labor’s cost of living crisis.” Senator Hume said.
“Before the election, Jim Chalmers said that Labor had a plan to lower the cost of living. But now, Labor has completely abandoned Australians at a time when they’re seeing higher energy bills, high grocery prices, and high mortgage repayments.
“Without a plan, you plan to fail and so far, Labor has planned to fail Australians,” Senator Hume concluded.
Keith Wolahan MP, the member for Menzies, said the cost of living is hitting all Australians hard right now.
“It’s the number one issue the people of Menzies raise with me. Everyday I’m hearing stories about the tough choices families are having to make to manage their household budgets. But while many families are putting grocery items back on the shelves to stick within their tighter budget, this Labor government is not showing the same budgetary restraint.
“It's great to have the Cost of Living Committee out in Box Hill so they can hear directly from the local community groups who know first hand, just how tough people are doing out here,” Mr Wolahan said.